Francesco Guidolin points out Udinese “had to suffer to the bitter end” for fourth place and defended his celebratory dance!
A 0-0 draw with Milan proved to be enough for the Champions League preliminary round, although Antonio Di Natale's penalty was saved by Marco Amelia and they hit the woodwork twice.
“After a week of chatter and above all waiting until the evening, we had to suffer and bite our nails throughout. Di Natale very rarely fails to convert a penalty, so when that happened we realised we really would have to suffer to the bitter end!
“I thank the players, the club and the fans who suffered along with us. I want to enjoy this night to the full – and it'll be a long one.”
Guidolin pledged to do the Moonwalk like Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng if Udinese achieved fourth place.
The Coach certainly danced along with players and supporters at the Stadio Friuli, though it was more like a jig than a Moonwalk, with additional jazz hands.
“The lads knew I had made this promise and so forced me into it! I don't have the flexibility of Boateng or any of the 20-year-olds in my side, but I gave it a go. I can beat them all in a bicycle race, though!”
Udinese started with four consecutive defeats, then the team changed when Mauricio Isla came in.
“Isla certainly has a bright future ahead of him. He was carrying a ban from last season and when he came in to change the tactical system, moving Pablo Armero too, we started to climb back.
“Undoubtedly this lad gives balance, attacking push and is one of the most important pieces in our mosaic.
“I see no need to take apart the team and nobody is really pushing to do that. I realise some will be sought out by big clubs, but we do not need to sell and hope to be ready for the preliminary round and then the group phase.”